Sinister 2 is nearly upon us, and with it returns Bughuul, a most haunting and nightmarish apparition. To celebrate the upcoming August 21st release of Sinister 2, we’ve gone back and compiled a list of the Top 11 Most Memorable Specters in Horror.
Of course, no top list would be complete without a hearty side dish of honorable mentions so, as always, we’ll start there. James Wan is single-handedly responsible for two honorable mentions, Annabelle Higgins and Bathsheba Sherman, the malevolent spirits from Annabelle and The Conjuring, respectively. Jennet Humfrye from The Woman in Black earns a spot here, as does Madison Elizabeth Frank from What Lies Beneath. Maybe it’s not the most revered horror film, but something about What Lies Beneath was downright chilling. And speaking of chilled, the ghostly crew of the Elizabeth Dane in John Carpenter’s The Fog are also in line for honorable mentions.
Some friendly ghosts that stand out are, of course, Casper the Friendly Ghost and the maudlin Nearly Headless Nick who haunts Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter series… as well as Jack Skellington’s beloved dog, Zero.
And finally, these two characters may not necessarily be specters in the truest sense of the word, but they are certainly malevolent spiritual baddies back from the dead: Freddy Krueger and Daniel Robitaille, aka Candyman…Candyman…Candyman.
And now, on to the Top 11 Most Memorable Specters in Horror.
Mary Shaw – Dead Silence (2007)
Dead Silence may not have been as lucrative a project for James Wan as his other films in the honorable mentions section, but it indeed had his scariest ghost. Mary Shaw was an incredibly freaky character that terrorized Ryan Kwanten and Donnie Wahlberg in Dead Silence. And, as you can see by the video clip below, Mary Shaw was freaky enough when she was alive and a performing ventriloquism (actually, ventriloquists as a whole make us a little uneasy with their unusual talent for talking without lips moving and bringing life to inanimate objects) so you could imagine what a terror she was as a ghost. Dead Silence was the first non-Saw film Wan created, and Mary Shaw was the first spirit he unleashed. She was followed by more lucrative monsters, like Annabelle, but never creepier ones!
Marisol Chavez – Oculus (2013)
Although she doesn’t have the personality of Mary Shaw, Marisol Chavez is just as upsetting. You get a few quick glimpses of her in the Oculus trailer below, but that might be enough to get your skin crawling. Associated with the Lasser Glass, a malevolent mirror, Marisol is just one of the nightmares that are hidden within Oculus, but she is indeed the scariest. With mirrored eyes highlighting a fantastically creepy appearance, Marisol was the most memorable and thrilling part of Oculus and one character that stuck with us long after the movie ended.
Slimer – Ghostbusters (1984)
Now on to the horror/comedy part of our Top Specters list… When you ask the average person to name a famous movie ghost, he or she will undoubtedly recall the name “Slimer” at some point (or at least “that green thing from Ghostbusters” if they can’t come up with his actual name). Slimer was the face of a franchise. Although not named in the movie, Slimer grabbed his moniker and skyrocketed to even more fame with the release of “The Real Ghostbusters” cartoon program. He was voiced by Ivan Reitman in the two Ghostbusters movies, and the cartoon version was voiced by Frank Welker and Billy West (formerly of The Howard Stern Show). Slimer became so popular that the cartoon was retooled to give the ectoplasm-oozing apparition more screen time and renamed “Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters.” The show was a huge success, spawning all kinds of merchandise… hell, what kid from that time didn’t love a big glass of Hi-C Ecto-cooler with Slimer on the bottle. And he was responsible for the most famous quote from the legendary film…“He slimed me.” See below.